Instead of making new year’s resolutions, I like to pick a word which becomes the theme of what I want the year ahead to look like. Last year, I chose the word ‘calm’ and I think I did a pretty good job at cultivating a sense of peace in different aspects of my life.
This year, I’m choosing ‘confident.’ Being confident is something I always seem to struggle with. When I feel insecure or second-best, I either stand awkwardly about or over-compensate by being too friendly, too funny, too happy, too loud, too understanding, too much.
I thought being confident meant being brave and if I could just be brave enough, maybe wonderful things would happen to me. So even if I wasn’t confident underneath, where everything actually matters, I did my best to do brave things anyway, telling myself that it doesn’t matter what happens in the end because at least I put myself out there.
The problem with being brave is that you end up chasing a lot of things or fighting for things that don’t deserve to be fought for. It’s a tricky place to be because for most of our lives, we’re taught that it’s a good thing to go after what we want. I never wanted to be that person who sits in the corner and waits for life to happen to her. Maybe I thought nothing would ever happen to me if that was the case. Or maybe I wanted to control my life too much, steering it in certain directions, believing too much in the poets when they said ‘I am the master of my fate.’
I think part of the issue stems from the fact that a big part of my job is trying to convince people that I’m good enough. I always think I have something to prove, even if that something is simply that I’m a nice person.
I thought going after what I wanted would mean I was empowered and that would mean I was confident. But maybe being confident is being the calm person who stands her ground, who knows that she has nothing to prove, and who isn’t desperate to be thought of as fun, good, nice, friendly, or smart. Maybe being confident is finally realizing that I’m enough just as I am, right now, and I don’t need anybody to validate that for me.